May 23, 2017: Yes, we finally left and are now back on Blake Island

Brilliant sunshine dazzled our eyes and glittered on surrounding wavelets as we left Everett at about 9:30 am; I backed Braesail out of its “parking spot” and we left the marina without incident. The wind continued to rise as we motored south toward Seattle, whose skyline was clearly outlined against the backdrop of the snow crested Cascade Mountains.  To the northeast we could see Mt. Baker, sparkling like a massive mound of vanilla ice cream, and to the south the even more monumental Mt. Rainier, a bodacious blueberry “sundae” (even on a Tuesday) topped with whipped snow, dominated the landscape (hmmm–when will it be time for dessert?).

By about noon the wind had risen to about 16 kts. (about 18 mph), with gusts to 20 kts. (about 23 mph), and we were able to raise our three sails (the yankee, attached to the leading forestay, the staysail attached to the stay behind it, and the mainsail attached to the mast and boom). We hummed happily along at about 8 mph, a very good speed indeed for our cutter rigged vessel (a boat with one mast and three sails), and arrived at approximately 2:30 pm at the snug marina on Blake Island (in which we’d stayed about two weeks ago–see my blog entries for May 6 and 7).

The high winds made docking a little tricky, but Walt met the challenge splendidly. I considered walking along one of the island’s trails, but decided instead to rest in the protection of  Braesail’s covered cockpit where I could hear the wind roaring and rattling the rigging and see the tall trees bowing and swaying beside the shore.

The gale-force winds (probably close to 35 mph) subsided as the day darkened and clouds billowed in, and shortly before enjoying a wonderful chicken dinner, I did take a short walk to and from the on-shore restrooms, passing the meadow where Canada geese were grazing, but from which the deer that I saw on our last trip was absent. Will raccoons visit us tonight?

Walt’s wonderful photo, taken as he stood on Braesail’s deck while we were under full sail; he aimed the camera at the top of the mast.

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